Leeway given for long lines at polling places
Legislation signed into law by Gov. Lincoln Chafee earlier this week will ensure any voter who is in line at a polling place by closing time will be allowed to cast a ballot.
Current law says a voter must be inside a polling place’s building by closing time in order to cast a ballot.
“Anyone who is willing to wait outside to do their civic duty should not be turned away,” said Rep. Ajello, the bill’s sponsor. “This bill would make sure that every registered voter who wants to vote gets to vote.”
The legislation takes immediate effect and will apply the next time any election is held in the state.
In November’s election, voters stood in long lines at some locations, including one in Providence where the wait was as long as three hours.
Ajello, who sponsored the bill on behalf of Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, said the change makes voting opportunities more consistent throughout the state.